Gunners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1) 2
Chicken Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
MOSES Chunga suffered a goal-difference last-day relegation nightmare despite his Gunners’ side beating Chicken Inn at Larfarge Stadium yesterday.
REPORT BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Ismael Lawe scored a brace, but that could not prevent the former champions from getting relegated to the unfashionable Division One league.
With Black Mambas, who were also fighting relegation, emerging surprise victors over FC Platinum with a 4-2 win, it meant Gunners waved goodbye to the elite league on goals scored, as the two teams finished tied on goal difference.
Gunners won the league title in 2009 under Moses Chunga two years after joining the top-flight league.
Chunga, a known master in saving teams from relegation and renowned for his witty remarks, uncharacteristically looked dejected and downcast at the final whistle.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Chunga. “We left it too late and we have paid the price. Of course I have saved other teams from relegation before, but there was always going to be a first time. But overally, we played well.
“At the moment I am going home and then will plan for the future,” said Chunga whose side had won their last three tough matches against Monomotapa, Harare City and Motor Action.
His opposite number Adam Ndlovu described the match as the worst performance by his side: “It’s the worst performance by the team. They were totally out of the game and were not serious, possibly because they knew there was not much to play for. But as a coach such a result is disappointing.
“You need to protect your CV, but I think the referee was my man-of-the-match. He is the same referee that I complained about during our game against Hardbody and he was here again. It appears he wanted to give Gunners the points. I am not happy with this kind of refereeing because most of his decisions were against us,” said Ndlovu.
Gunners had to finish the match with ten men after Lawe was sent off by referee Makonese Masakadza for a second bookable offence after he raced to the stands and celebrated his second goal with fans.
Lawe, opened the account for a dominant Gunners on the 29th minute when he connected home a cross from Tapiwa Dephistara.
The Gunners forward completed his brace two minutes from fulltime — heading into the net a rebound after a free-kick by Moses Muchenje crashed against the crossbar.
An ecstatic Lawe, already sitting on a yellow card, raced to the stands and celebrated with fans in the process attracting a second yellow which reduced his team to 10 men.
However, Chicken Inn despite showing lack of commitment, had good chances which they wasted especially in the second half with Soccer Star of the Year finalist Kudakwashe Mahachi, Thomas Chimenya and substitute Walter Mukanga coming close.
At Rufaro, Ronald Chitiyo scored the only goal as Monomotapa beat Buffaloes 1-0 to finish the season on fourth and join Chicken Inn in the 2013 edition of the Caf Confederation Cup competition.